Murphy PD: Out with the Old, In with the New
At the Nov. 20, 2018, City of Murphy council meeting, Murphy Police Chief Cotten presented council (item 7B on the agenda) with a list of equipment that are surplus items in order to donate those items to the City of Wylie to help with their jail renovation. The list included two jail door control panels, six jail cell doors, three intercoms, four toilet and sink combinations and one handicap rated toilet and sink combination. Chief Cotten said that these items were never used for their intended purpose. Council approved this action unanimously.
Providing background information as to why Wylie would want this type of donation, Chief Cotten referred back to the hail storm of 2016, when the City of Wylie was hit with hail, some softball sized, which caused massive damage to the Wylie Police Department. He said since that time, Wylie PD has been working out of six temporary buildings. Some of Wylie’s detectives have worked from Murphy PD during this time.
The 2017 Capital bond election, (proposition B), included: “Convert the jail into functional space to include expanding the locker rooms and property room.” Chief Cotten said by donating these items to Wylie that are slated for removal from Murphy, particularly the doors, they will help lessen the burden on Wylie and strengthen the relationship between Murphy and Wylie.
The jail was built when the current City Complex was built which was in 2004. The jail was never used. Chief Cotten hopes the donated items will be used for their intended purpose in Wylie.
Once the Wylie jail is fully operational, Chief Cotten hopes that Murphy PD will be able to bring persons in custody to the Wylie jail instead of to Collin County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). This arrangement will allow MPD to save time and money since Wylie is half the distance compared to CCSO. Wylie is also less busy, which will help cut down on the time it takes for the booking process. This arrangement will also make it more convenient for detectives to follow up on cases. Chief Cotton points out that a lot of crime that Murphy sees, Wylie sees as well. Arrest and booking databases will be directly shared. Eventually, all prisoners are taken to CCSO. Over the last five years, on average, Murphy has taken 248 persons into custody. Last year there were 180 persons taken into custody. (These numbers include juveniles who are not taken to CCSO.)
Conversations regarding MPD taking persons in custody to Wylie’s jail are in the preliminary stages.
Chief Cotten addressed the need for a larger property room, “Laws have changed, such as how long evidence, like DNA, has to be stored.” The expanded property room will have a walk-in refrigerator. Additionally, there will be an expandable storage system for evidence. Chief Cotten said, “As the population increases, and as more people travel through Murphy, there will be more cases.” Upon completion, the property room will be double in size as to what it is now.
Regarding the existing lockers, Chief Cotten describes them to be like high school lockers. These lockers are lacking in storage space. The new lockers (34 in total) will be larger allowing officers to keep their uniforms neater. There will also be foot lockers with vents in which the officers can air dry their vests. Both the women’s and men’s locker rooms will be expanded into the former jail space. Three jail cells will be turned into office space. Chief Cotten said these improvements will be good for morale.
The architectural drawings have been submitted. The plan is to move the existing lockers to a temporary location in February. The project is estimated to be complete by August.
Additional construction will also be done simultaneously at the police department as the lobby will be remodeled (add two interview rooms in the police department lobby) and create a safe exchange program (create a space in front of the police station where citizens can safely exchange money for products purchased on sites such as Craigslist.)